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Frequently Asked Questions

About the Ang

What is the Air National Guard?

The Air National Guard is a separate reserve component of the United States Air Force, similar to the Air Force Reserves. We work part-time, one weekend a month and a few weeks a year, at a minimum, and have what is unique to the military in a dual role. While Reserve components have a federal mission under the direction of the President, the Air Guard has another role of supporting the states in times of need under the direction of the Governor. As a result, the Air Guard gets additional benefits offered by the state and affords its members both federal and state benefits.

I've never been in the military before. What can I expect in the Air Guard?

Click here to learn all about life in the Air National Guard.

I'm prior service. How can I find out what the Air Guard is all about?

The "Try One" program is available to prior service individuals who have never served in the Air Guard. It's a great way to explore the Air Guard and decide if it's a good fit for you. There are limitations on this program based on training and incentives. Ask your local recruiter for details.

How is the Air Guard "part-time"?

The Air National Guard is considered part-time since we work and serve one weekend a month and a few weeks out of the year, at a minimum. While that is the traditional role of the Air Guard, you may also be called to duty in times of need within your state or activated for a deployment.

What jobs are available in the Air Guard?

Click here to get more information about specific careers in the Air National Guard. The Careers page will provide you with in-depth job descriptions. Contact a recruiter to find out what jobs are available in your area and learn how to qualify for them.

What does "AFSC" mean?

AFSC stands for Air Force Specialty Code and is the code for the career fields in the Air Force. This is similar to the Military Occupational Standards the other services use.

What are MAGE scores?

MAGE scores are used on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) to compute aptitude across four areas: Mechanical, Administrative, General and Electronics.

How do I make rank and get promotions?

Your promotions will be determined by time in grade (how long you've had your current rank), time in service (how long you've been in the military), and any Professional Military Education requirements. There is no formal military testing program required for promotions in the Air National Guard.

Can I go active duty if I'm already in the Air National Guard?

Yes, members of the Air National Guard that apply for and are accepted into any active duty component will be released from their commitment with us once they join that branch.

How can I get more information about the Air Guard?

Click here to request more information and a recruiter from your local unit will contact you soon.

My son/daughter/student wants to join the Air Guard. Where can I learn more?

Click here for important information about the Air National Guard for parents and educators.

Benefits

Will I be able go on Air Force or other military bases and use their facilities?

Yes, as a member of the Air Guard, you have all the same on-base privileges as active duty military and can enter these locations at any time. You'll have access to a wide array of inexpensive or free resources, including use of the Commissary (grocery store), Base Exchange (department store), sport facilities, gyms, and other entertainment facilities.

Can I fly for free on military aircraft for personal trips?

Yes, Air Guard personnel have the opportunity to fly aboard military aircraft when there is space available, totally free. It's called Space-A Travel and it's a benefit available to all Air Guard members.

Does the Air National Guard offer life insurance?

Yes, you can get up to $400,000 of low-cost life insurance in the Air National Guard. There is a wide variety of other insurance benefits available as well.

Can I get Basic Allowance for Housing?

Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) is typically for those serving on active duty, annual training periods, or times when a person is placed on orders for more than 30 days.

How long do I need to be in the Air Guard to be eligible for military retirement?

Members of the Air National Guard must complete 20 years of satisfactory military service to become eligible for military retirement. This time can be any combination from Active, Guard or Reserve service. If you've served on active duty in any branch, you can transition easily to the Air Guard without losing any of your retirement time and continue right where you left off earning points toward retirement.

What is the Thrift Savings Plan?

The Thrift Savings Plan is a defined contribution plan similar to an IRA or 401(k) retirement savings plan. Air Guard members have the ability to contribute a portion of their pay to this account. Visit http://www.tsp.gov/ for more information about the Thrift Savings Plan.

What is Foreign Language Proficiency Pay?

Foreign Language Proficiency Pay is an incentive pay designed to increase skills in foreign languages deemed critical to various missions' needs. It is oftentimes associated with the career field a person is assigned.

Money

Can I get an enlistment bonus? How much?

Incentives, such as bonuses, are determined by career fields and needs of the local units. These programs may not be the same in each unit so it is always best to check with your recruiter to see if the career you're interested in offers any incentives.

How much money will I earn working one weekend per month?

Your pay is determined by your rank and time in service. Air Guard members are paid for four active duty days for working two actual days each month. You can check out the pay calculator on our website or ask your recruiter for current pay scale information.

Will I get paid while I complete Basic Training and technical schools?

Yes, you will get active duty pay during Basic Military Training and technical school. The pay that you receive will be determined by your rank.

Education

Can the Air Guard help me pay for college?

Yes, Air Guard members can take advantage of the Montgomery GI Bill, which pays a monthly stipend of up to $362 per month toward college tuition and expenses. If you qualify, you can also receive the GI Bill Kicker, which could provide you with an additional $350 per month. Some states even offer up to 100% tuition assistance! Visit the Benefits portion of the website to see what federal and state benefits are offered, and make sure you ask your recruiter for more information on tuition assistance for college.

Will I get a bonus or student loan repayment benefits by joining the Air Guard?

Incentives, such as bonuses, are determined by career fields and needs of the local units. These programs may not be the same in each unit so it is always best to check with your recruiter to see if the career you're interested in offers any incentives.

Can the Air Guard help me earn college credit?

Yes, you earn college credits for Basic Military Training, in-residence technical training, and even correspondence courses you take. You can even earn a two-year associate degree in your occupation when you combine your civilian general education courses with those you receive in the military through the Community College of the Air Force (CCAF).

Does the Air Guard offer any educational benefits for health professionals?

Yes, there are several programs to assist health professionals interested in joining the Air Guard, including the Student Loan Repayment Program, a stipend program, and the Montgomery GI Bill. You may also earn Continuing Medical Education for training courses offered by the Air Guard. Make sure you ask about these programs when speaking to the local recruiters to see what you may be entitled to.

If I am a medical professional, will I be eligible for the Medical Officer Student Loan Repayment Program?

The eligibility for receiving the Medical Officer Student Loan Repayment Program is determined by the local unit. The career fields that receive these incentives are based on unit needs and may not be the same in each unit. The recruiter maintains a list of eligible careers and would be best qualified to explain what careers offer these incentives at their location.

Careers

What jobs are available in the Air Guard?

Click here to get more information about specific careers in the Air National Guard. The Careers page will provide you with in-depth job descriptions. Contact a recruiter to find out what jobs are available in your area and learn how to qualify for them.

Do I choose my job when I join or is a career assigned to me?

There are a few factors that determine what job you'll have in the Air Guard, but ultimately you decide what your career will be. Your recruiter can help you find the right career using the results of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test and a medical screening (physical) exam. They may discuss what your interests, hobbies, and future plans are in order to help guide you in selecting a career that's right for you.

How can I make sure I get the job that I want?

Job availability depends on the needs of the unit you're looking to join. Your recruiter can help you find the right career using the results of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test and a medical screening (physical) exam. They may discuss what your interests, hobbies, and future plans are in order to help guide you in selecting a career that's right for you.

Do I need any additional training for my job specialty?

Depending on your qualification, you may require additional training. We'll give you all the tools you need to start your new career in the Air Guard. You'll have the opportunity to gain new skills and get hands-on experience at a technical school before you are expected to perform at your unit. And if you're already qualified, we can get you started right away using your experience to assist us in performing our missions.

Can I cross train for a new job or do I have to stay in my previous career?

As a prior service enlistee, you may have the opportunity to cross train based on the needs of the local unit. You can stay in the same career field if it is available.

If I cross train for a new career, will I need to attend Technical School?

In most cases, you'll need to attend the technical school associated with your new career field. However, depending on your qualifications and skills, you may be able to bypass technical training and begin working in the new job immediately. Check with the local recruiter to discuss if this option is available to you.

What careers/jobs are most likely to be deployed?

Anyone in the Air Guard may get deployed at any time during a war or homeland emergency. Unfortunately, no one can predict what future needs will be. Your unique skills and training may be needed at any time, regardless of the career you choose.

What does it take to become a pilot in the Air Guard?

In order to become a pilot in the Air Guard, you must be a U.S. citizen with a four-year college degree, pass the stringent flight physical exam, and be under 30 years of age prior to entering Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training.

I speak a foreign language. Can I join as a Linguist?

It is possible to join the Guard as a linguist, but you should be aware that not all Air Guard locations have those positions. Additionally, the positions can vary based on the language, so it is always best to check with your local recruiter and see what opportunities may be available.

What is the Defense Language Proficiency Test?

The Defense Language Proficiency Test is designed to measure your proficiency in a foreign language. How well you score on the test will determine if you are eligible to enter certain language-based career fields.

What is Foreign Language Proficiency Pay?

Foreign Language Proficiency Pay is an incentive pay designed to increase skills in foreign languages deemed critical to various missions' needs. It is oftentimes associated with the career field a person is assigned.

Where can I learn more about the JAG Program?

Ask your local recruiter for more information regarding the JAG program and any opportunities within the JAG program.

What do health professionals do in the Air National Guard?

As a health professional, you will be responsible for the well-being of your unit members and conduct medical screenings and physicals on a routine basis. You will also be working in your area of expertise when performing annual training or in the event that you are activated or deployed. Some units also have adopted homeland defense missions where you could be part of a team to assist when called upon.

What is the age requirement for health professionals in the Air National Guard?

Health professionals must be commissioned prior to their 47th birthday. Exceptions to this age requirement may be granted for physicians.

What rank will I have when I start as an Air Guard Health Professional?

As a physician or dentist, your rank will be determined by several factors, including residencies completed, how long you have been practicing and any prior military service. At a minimum, your rank will be Captain. For nurses, physician assistants, and allied health professionals, your rank will be determined by education, work experience, licensure date, and any prior military service.

How do I become a flight surgeon?

If you are a physician interested in becoming a flight surgeon with the Air National Guard, you must attend the Aerospace Medicine Primary Course. There you will learn how flying and performing at high altitudes can affect the human body, including flight environment related injuries and treatment.

How do I become a nurse in the Air National Guard?

To be a nurse in the Air National Guard, you must have either a bachelor's or an associate's degree in nursing from a National League of Nursing (NLN) accredited program. If you hold an associate's degree, you must agree to obtain your bachelor's degree in nursing before obtaining the rank of Captain.

Does the Air National Guard need all civilian allied healthcare professionals?

The Air National Guard utilizes many allied healthcare professionals, such as social workers, psychologists, pharmacists, and optometrists. Unfortunately, we do not have positions for chiropractors or podiatrists at this time. Check with your local Air Guard recruiter to see what positions you may qualify for.

I am in my first year of medical school. Can I join the Air National Guard?

Yes, it's possible for the local unit to accept first year medical students based on availability of select medical positions. Only the local unit you join can make that determination. Ask your recruiter about the needs of your unit and if you qualify.

Are there special programs for medical students?

The Air National Guard makes every attempt to provide special programs to increase participation in needed skills and careers. Ask your local recruiter what benefits and programs are currently available.

What are the requirements to join the Air Guard as a chaplain?

Chaplain applicants for initial appointment must have a master's degree in theology and be less than 40 years old or less than 42 years old with at least 2 years of prior service at time of commissioning. You must be an ordained minister with an ecclesiastical endorsement from a recognized religious denomination.

Is there a chaplain training program?

No, you must already be an ordained minister in order to join the Air Guard as a chaplain.

What is the Honor Guard?

The mission of the Honor Guard is to represent the Armed Forces to the American public and the world. Serving in the Air Guard Honor Guard is a special duty that demands a high standard of moral fortitude, loyalty and sense of patriotism. The Honor Guard is often seen presenting the American flag at official ceremonies.

Requirements and Commitments

What are the steps of the Air Guard enlistment process?

You begin the process by meeting with your recruiter who will schedule you for the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test and a physical (medical screening). These tests determine what jobs you qualify for. Next, you'll choose a career that best matches your qualifications based on what's available at your location. Finally, you and your recruiter will schedule a date for enlistment.

What are the basic requirements to join the Air National Guard?

You must be between the ages of 17 and 39, be a legal resident, and have a high school diploma or equivalency unless you are still in school, then you must be a high school senior. You must pass the entrance exam, medical screening, and a background check. The age limitation varies if you have prior military experience, are a medical professional, or chaplain. Please speak with the local recruiter and they can provide you more information.

What requirements are there after I join the Air Guard?

After you join, you will be scheduled for Basic Training (for non-prior service) and technical school to learn the skills for the job you selected. Upon returning home, there may be additional training required. Otherwise, you will begin serving one weekend a month and 15 days of annual training each year. Additionally, there is always the potential to be called to duty in times of need within your state or activated for a deployment.

What are the age requirements for new recruits with no military experience?

If you have no prior military experience, you must be between the ages of 17 and 39 years old to join the Air Guard. Chaplains and health professionals have higher age limitations.

What educational requirements are there for joining the Air Guard?

You must be a high school senior or have a high school diploma or equivalency at a minimum.

I'm currently in high school. When is the earliest I can join?

Once you are recognized as a high school senior and you are at least 17 years old, you are eligible to join the Air Guard, providing you have the permission of your parents.

I am 17 years old, and I am home schooled. What do I need to join?

If you are still in school, you need a letter of intent that shows you will graduate on a specific date, regardless of the type of school. If you have already graduated, you will need a high school diploma certified by the state or a GED.

Can I be in the Air Guard and in college ROTC at the same time?

You can be a member of the ROTC and in the Air Guard up to the point where you commit to serving the branch whose ROTC program you are in. Since you cannot be committed to two services at the same time, you would have to separate from the Air National Guard. An exception to this is where some states allow you to participate in ROTC while serving in the Air Guard through what is called the Simultaneous Participation Program. Ask your recruiter if they have a Simultaneous Participation Program in your State.

I am in my first year of medical school. Can I join the Air National Guard?

Yes, it's possible for the local unit to accept first year medical students based on availability of select medical positions. Only the local unit you join can make that determination. Ask your recruiter about the needs of your unit and if you qualify.

Can I be deployed while still in college?

The Air Guard always tries to fill all deployment packages with volunteers. However, if the skills you possess are still needed for the mission, it is possible you could be deployed.

Can I join the Air Guard as enlisted if I already have a college degree?

Yes, with a college degree you have the ability to become an officer in the Air Guard, but it is not required that you do so. The majority of our officers start as enlisted members and later become Air Guard officers. Check with your local recruiter about what options you have available.

What rank will I be when I join the Air National Guard?

All newly enlisted recruits start as an Airman Basic (E-1), however, the Air Guard offers many programs where you can achieve a higher rank upon enlistment. Certain career fields, personal experience, and/or achievements may make you eligible for advanced rank. Make sure you discuss these options with your local recruiter.

How can I obtain additional rank when I join?

The Air Guard offers many programs where you can achieve a higher rank upon enlistment depending on certain career fields, personal experience, and/or personal achievements. Make sure you discuss these options with your local recruiter.

What is the minimum ASVAB test score required to join?

You must have at least a 31 on the overall percentage (QT) of the Armed Service Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test to qualify for enlistment in the Air National Guard.

I failed the ASVAB. How long do I have to wait to re-take it?

If you fail the ASVAB test, you can retake the test after 30 days. After the second attempt, you must wait 6 months to retake the test.

What happens in the physical or medical examination?

To join the Air Guard, we will need to review your medical history to determine if there are any areas of concern that would prevent you from joining. We will schedule you for a complete physical, similar to a civilian physical, where we will test your vision and hearing, and discuss any concerns and past medical treatments with our medical professionals.

Do you have to be a U.S. Citizen to join the Air Guard?

To join the Air Guard, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident with a green card that does not expire within two years from the date you join. Due to the unique nature of some of our missions, some units may require you to be a U.S. citizen in order to join.

Can I get U.S. citizenship by joining the Air Guard?

Generally, a person who has served honorably in the U.S. armed forces may be eligible to apply for naturalization under section 328 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

Do I have to pass a credit check?

Yes, the Air National Guard recruiter will process your name through a credit checking agency as part of your overall background check.

Can I join the Air Guard if I have law violations or criminal convictions?

It may be possible for you to join the Air Guard, even if you have made mistakes in the past. Your recruiter will evaluate your law violations to make a determination if you are eligible to join or not. Unfortunately, in most cases, if you have been convicted of a felony, you are considered ineligible to join. If you're interested, give us a call at 1-800-TO-GO-ANG (864-6264) and we can ask you a few questions to determine if you are eligible to be put in touch with your local recruiter.

Can I join the Air Guard if my spouse is active duty in another branch?

Yes, married individuals can join the Air Guard regardless of their spouse's military status in any branch.

What if my spouse is deployed or stationed overseas while I am in the Air Guard?

Generally, if a spouse is deployed, your commitment in the Air Guard doesn’t change. However, if they are transferred, are now stationed overseas, and you plan on moving with them, you might need to separate from the Air National Guard unless there was an Air National Guard location in that particular area.

Can I join the Air Guard if I have children or plan to have children?

Yes, Air Guard members that have minor children/dependents are required to create family care plans to ensure the care of their children during their training and/or other military obligations. You do not need to give up custody of your child to join the Air National Guard.

What will my commitment be if I have never served in the military?

The time commitment for a person who has never served in the military is six years. During this commitment, you will attend Basic Training and technical training full-time and spend the remaining part of your enlistment working part-time, one weekend a month and two weeks a year, at a minimum.

Can I complete all my Air Guard requirement time for the year all at once?

No. Unit training is scheduled by the unit commander.

Could I lose my full-time civilian job while serving in the Air National Guard?

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) ensures that those who serve in the United States military can retain their civilian employment. This allows you to serve part-time, working one weekend per month and a few weeks a year while you can still pursue and maintain a full-time career.

Prior Service

What are the age requirements for recruits with prior military experience?

New enlistees with prior military experience must be able to complete 20 good years for retirement prior to age 60. If you are a doctor, nurse, or chaplain, however, the age limitations are different. Ask your recruiter for more information if this applies to you.

I am prior service. What type of discharge do I need to join the Air Guard?

The Air Guard will only accept prior service applicants with an honorable discharge. We do not accept a general (under honorable conditions), other-than-honorable, bad conduct, or a dishonorable discharge. If you were separated with a medical, hardship, or entry level separation, you should check with your local recruiter to see how they might be able to assist you.

How can I upgrade my General Discharge?

You will need to complete a DD Form 293, Application for the Review of Discharge or Dismissal from the Armed Forces of the United States. Instructions are included on the form. Your local veterans organizations (not Veterans Affairs) can assist you with the application process if needed.

How can I upgrade my Reenlistment Code?

You will need to complete a DD Form 293, Application for the Review of Discharge or Dismissal from the Armed Forces of the United States. Instructions are included on the form. Your local veterans organizations (not Veterans Affairs) can assist you with the application process if needed.

I am prior service and have tattoos where new recruits can't. Can I join?

No, you must meet the same standards as new recruits in regards to tattoos and other body art.

I am prior service but not a U.S. citizen. Can I join the Air Guard?

If you are prior service, you now must be a U.S. citizen to join the Air National Guard. Once you've obtained citizenship, you can apply for membership in the Air Guard.

I'm active duty in a military branch other than the Air Force. When can I join?

If you are currently on active duty in any branch of the military other than the Air Force, the best time to start exploring your options with the Air Guard is when you are within 120 days of your date of separation. You can join right after you separate and we have a release form from the inactive reserves if you still have a military service obligation.

I'm deployed in a branch other than Air Force. When can I join the Air Guard?

Since you are deployed, the best time to start looking and exploring your options is when you're within 120 days of returning to your home duty station. When you're at or close to that window, please contact us via CHAT/CC, our Request Information form, or call us at 1-800-TO-GO-ANG (864-6264). We can even place you on a waitlist and reach out to you the closer you get, if you desire.

I am retired from another military branch. Can I join the Air Guard?

The Air Guard does not take retirees from any branch of the U.S. military other than the United States Air Force.

Will I keep my rank if I transfer from another branch of the military?

If you are joining the Air Guard from a different service, you can generally carry over your current rank up to E-5 for enlisted or O-4 for officer. The local unit will need to review your case and make the final determination.

Will the time I served on active duty count toward my Air Guard retirement?

Yes, all time served on active duty or active participation in any Reserve or Guard component counts towards your Air Guard retirement.

How long is the commitment for someone with prior service?

Prior service applicants can be offered a variety of enlistment options, ranging from one to six years depending on required training and incentives.

Will I have to repeat Basic Training/boot camp?

No, once you've successfully completed Basic Training or boot camp for any branch of the U.S. military, there's no need to repeat it.

Officer

What are the requirements to become an officer in the Air National Guard?

In order to become an officer in the Air National Guard, you must hold a bachelor's degree and pass the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT). If selected, you are required to complete the Academy of Military Science (AMS) Officer training program prior to your 35th birthday. If you already have military experience, talk to a recruiter about your specific situation.

Can I join the Air Guard as an officer if I already have a college degree?

You may have the option to apply for an officer position. The availability is based on the needs of the local unit, so it is always best to check with the local recruiter to see what may be available.

What about Officer Training School/Officer Candidate School?

If you are selected to become an Air Guard officer, you will attend the Academy of Military Science (AMS) for a six-week training program conducted at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, AL. AMS is designed to introduce civilian candidates to the military environment, while fostering skills in leadership, communications, military history, health, and fitness, as well as drill and ceremonies. Medical professionals must attend the four week Commissioned Officer Training School (COTS) at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio TX.

What is a non-rated officer?

A non-rated officer is a commissioned officer that usually fills non-flying related positions such as personnel officer, finance officer, maintenance officer, etc.

What is a non-commissioned officer?

A non-commissioned officer (NCO) is an enlisted member who has earned a higher level of responsibility due to experience and promotions. Staff Sergeants (E-5) up through the rank of Chief Master Sergeants (E-9) are considered NCO's in the Air National Guard.

What is my commitment to the Air National Guard as an officer?

You will be appointed for a four-year initial contract. After that, there are a variety of options available to you. Ask your local recruiter for more details.

Air Force to Air Guard

Can I transfer from the Air Force to the Air Guard before my contract is up?

Yes, the Palace Chase program allows Air Force members to leave active duty early and double the time left on their enlistment contract as they serve in the Air Guard. The member must have completed at least half of their enlistment contract. Officers must serve at least two-thirds of their obligation. For more details, give us a call at 1-800-TO-GO-ANG (864-6264) and we can place you in touch with an Air Guard in-service recruiter to assist you.

Can I transfer from the Air Force to the Air Guard when my contract is up?

Yes, the Palace Front program allows members to transfer directly from the Air Force to the Air Guard on completion of their contract. The greatest benefit of this program is that you experience no break in service, so you retain your time in grade, while your time in service continues uninterrupted. For more details, give us a call at 1-800-TO-GO-ANG (864-6264) and we can place you in touch with an Air Guard in-service recruiter to assist you.

What is the Palace Chase Program?

The Palace Chase program allows Air Force members to leave active duty early and double the time left on their enlistment contract as they serve in the Air Guard. The member must have completed at least half of their enlistment contract. Officers must serve at least two-thirds of their obligation. For more details, give us a call at 1-800-TO-GO-ANG (864-6264) and we can place you in touch with an Air Guard in-service recruiter to assist you.

What is the Palace Front Program?

The Palace Front program allows members to transfer directly from the Air Force to the Air Guard on completion of their contract. The greatest benefit of this program is that you experience no break in service, so you retain your time in grade, while your time in service continues uninterrupted. For more details, give us a call at 1-800-TO-GO-ANG (864-6264) and we can place you in touch with an Air Guard in-service recruiter to assist you.

I'm deployed with the Air Force. When can I join the Air Guard?

Since you are deployed, the best time to start looking and exploring options is when you're within 45 days of returning to your home duty station. When you're at or close to that window, please contact us via CHAT/CC, our Request Information form, or call us at 1-800-TO-GO-ANG (864-6264). We can even place you on a waitlist and reach out to you the closer you get, if you desire.

I am retired from the Air Force. Can I still join the Air Guard?

U.S. Air Force retirees may be able to join the Air Guard if they have not been retired over 5 years. You must be able to complete at least 3 years of service before your 60th birthday. Cross-training after enlistment in the Air National Guard will not be authorized for prior retirees. The process is not easy, as it requires approval by the Secretary of the Air Force and a vacant slot for your AFSC at your current rank within your local ANG unit. You will have to contact your local unit for their policy on enlisting retirees.

Does service in the Air Force Honor Guard count toward Air Guard retirement?

Yes, all satisfactory service time in the military counts for retirement in the Air Guard.

Will I have to repeat Basic Training/boot camp?

No, once you've successfully completed Basic Training or boot camp for any branch of the U.S. military, there's no need to repeat it.

Locations

Can I choose where I am stationed or is that assigned to me?

In most circumstances, you will apply, enlist, and serve at the Air Guard location closest to your home. You may choose a location farther away from you as long as you live within that location's reasonable commuting distance restriction. Check with the recruiter at the location you desire to join to make sure you are eligible.

Can I live in one state and join an Air Guard unit in another?

Yes, it's possible to join an Air Guard unit across state lines. You will want to contact the recruiter for the location you're looking to join, as there may be limitations based on commuting distance.

What if I move out of state? Can I transfer to a different unit?

Yes, if your civilian life takes you out of state, you can easily transfer to a different location. Your local recruiting office will connect you with a recruiter in the state in which you plan to reside.

Can I join the Air Guard overseas?

The Air Guard maintains units in the United States and its territories. If you live overseas in one of the U.S. territories that has an Air National Guard location, you may join. Unfortunately, residing outside of those locations renders a person ineligible to join.

Training (Basic and Technical)

Do I have to go to Basic Training/boot camp? Where is it?

Air Guard recruits who have never completed a Basic Military Training (BMT) or boot camp will attend Air Force BMT at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX.

What is Basic Training like?

Click here for information about Basic Military Training.

What do I need to bring to Basic Training?

Your local recruiter will be able to provide you with the most up-to-date list of things you'll need for Basic Training. Most of your clothing and other needs are provided for you and, typically, enlistees need to bring only a few items. It is strongly encouraged that you leave valuables, including jewelry, at home while you are in Basic Training.

When will I leave for training?

After you join, your recruiter will schedule your training times. Your departure date will depend on the availability at Basic Military Training (boot camp) and when classes start for your technical training.

How long will I be away for training?

Air National Guard recruits attend Basic Military Training, as well as the technical school for their chosen career, alongside active duty Air Force enlistees. Basic Training is about 8 1/2 weeks long and technical schools range from 6 to 52 weeks, depending on your career. The average time away is about 18 to 20 weeks. Ask your recruiter about training time for specific careers.

What is the least amount of time I will be away for training?

Basic Military Training is about 8 1/2 weeks long and technical school can be anywhere from 6 to 52 weeks, depending on the career you choose. If you pick a job with a 6-week training time, you'll be away for approximately 16 weeks total. The average time required to be away for training is between 18 and 20 weeks. Ask your recruiter about specific job training requirements.

Do I have to cut my hair for Basic Training?

Males will have their heads shaved at Basic Training. Females will not have to cut their hair, but they will be required to pin it up to meet Air Force Standards.

Can I complete Basic Training between my junior and senior years in high school?

No, the Air National Guard does not have a split training option. However, you are able to join once you become a high school senior and are at least 17. You can begin attending and receive pay for Air Guard monthly drill weekends at your local unit and complete Basic Training and technical school upon receiving your high school diploma or GED.

Will I get paid while I complete Basic Training and technical schools?

Yes, you will get active duty pay during Basic Military Training and technical school. The pay that you receive will be determined by your rank.

Does the Air Guard have a buddy program?

There is no formal buddy program, but Air Guard recruiters will work very hard to get you and your "buddy" into Basic Military Training together. A major factor will be the career field you both select, as technical school start times may vary.

Will I have to repeat Basic Training/boot camp?

No, once you've successfully completed Basic Training or boot camp for any branch of the U.S. military, there's no need to repeat it.

Can my spouse and/or children come with me to training?

No. Unfortunately, there are no accommodations for your family at either Basic Training or technical school. You will be living in a dormitory-style environment while attending all training courses. Your family can, however, attend your graduation. Depending on your technical school, they may also have the opportunity to visit.

How long is technical school training?

Technical training can range anywhere from 6 weeks to 52 weeks depending on the job you choose. You can check out the careers available at the location closest to you on this website under the Careers section. It is also good to check with your local recruiter for more information on the technical school and to find out what positions are available.

Do I need any additional training for my job specialty?

Depending on your qualification, you may require additional training. We'll give you all the tools you need to start your new career in the Air Guard. You'll have the opportunity to gain new skills and get hands-on experience at a technical school before you are expected to perform at your unit. And if you're already qualified, we can get you started right away using your experience to assist us in performing our missions.

Can I cross train for a new job or do I have to stay in my previous career?

As a prior service enlistee, you may have the opportunity to cross train based on the needs of the local unit. You can stay in the same career field if it is available.

If I cross train for a new career, will I need to attend Technical School?

In most cases you'll need to attend the technical school associated with your new career field. However, depending on your qualifications and skills, you may be able to bypass technical training and begin working in the new job immediately. Check with the local recruiter to discuss if this option is available to you.

Missions

What is the likelihood I will get activated and be deployed?

It's impossible to predict whether a crisis will occur at some point in the future. If it does, there is always the possibility you will be needed on deployment. The Air Guard is there to support the needs of the Air Force on an as-needed basis. Every effort is made to use volunteers first, but you may be tasked to deploy when volunteers are not available to meet the mission's requirements.

What careers/jobs are most likely to be deployed?

Anyone in the Air Guard may get deployed at any time during a war or homeland emergency. Unfortunately, no one can predict what future needs will be. Your unique skills and training may be needed at any time, regardless of the career you choose.

Can I be deployed while still in college?

The Air Guard always tries to fill all deployment packages with volunteers. However, if the skills you possess are still needed for the mission, it is possible you could be deployed.

What happens in the event of war? What if there's a state or national emergency?

As a member of the Air National Guard, you are trained to respond immediately when disaster strikes. There is always the possibility of being activated during a time of crisis to protect the citizens and interests of the United States. Either the governor of your state or the President of the United States can call you to active duty in times of a state emergency or national conflict.

Could I be pulled out of medical school during a time of national emergency?

No. Federal law stipulates that you can not be called out of medical school in response to a national crisis.

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